As a life-long compulsive orderer, there are a couple of things that I can guarantee:
1. My (very mild) lactose intolerance is never ever a factor in the cheese vs more cheese debate
2. If there’s carbonara on the menu, 9.7/10, it’s getting ordered.
Several follow up thoughts on a delicious carbonara:
Using cream isn’t authentic. But it’s delicious.
I could happily shovel spoonfuls of crispy pan-fried pancetta cubes straight into my mouth – only a thin veil of decency stops me from doing so.
Don’t even get me started on the stalemate the waiting staff and I suffer through when they ask if I would like some parmesan on my pasta and stupidly suggest, “tell me when to stop”.
The truth is, CB and I have been on a health drive recently and I’m happy to confirm that there is life beyond crispy salt-cured pork belly: courgette and goat’s cheese carbonara.
Healthy (ish), filling, vegetarian, simple, impressive, quick.
Stop looking for the answers, just go make it today!
Serves 2, easily doubled. 479 calories per portion (miracles happen)
Adapted from Anjum Anand’s book, Eat Right for your Body Type
150g rigatoni (or your favourite pasta). Go for wholewheat if you’re trying to be extra healthy.
2 large garlic gloves, minced
1/2 a medium brown onion, finely sliced
350g courgettes – finely sliced
Small handful of basil leaves (approx 4-5g, if you have digital scales to measure, otherwise about 20 regular sized leaves)
60g goat’s cheese, roughly chopped
1 egg yolk (medium egg)
zest of half a lemon
1-2 tbsp lemon juice (to taste)
salt and pepper
- Cook the pasta according to packet instructions until al dente. Reserve 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of the cooking liquid.
- Heat the tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan with a lid and fry the garlic until fragrant – around 3 minutes
- Add the sliced onion, courgette, plenty of seasoning and half the basil (whole). Stir, cover and cook for approximately 10 minutes, until contents are soft. Make sure you check the pan occasionally to ensure contents don’t burn.
- Make sure all of the rest of the ingredients, from the cheese to the lemon juice are ready. Drain the pasta and add to the courgette mixture and then switch off the heat. Add the pasta water; start with a small amount and add more, depending on how loose you want the light sauce to be. Then add the remaining ingredients, including the rest of the basil which should be quickly shredded with your hands as it’s added to the pot to release fragrance and flavour. Stir thoroughly until cheese is melted and the egg yolk combined.
- Serve in your favourite pasta bowl with plenty of ground black pepper and a massive grin on your face (and maybe a glass of freezing cold white wine?)